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been more ready to give, than we to receive.' In all his earlier letters he speaks respectfully and favourably of Charles and the royal family, and seems to have entertained hopes of a just and equal government, a true and comprehensive amnesty of all past offences between prince and subject, between all sects and parties, between each man and his neighbour.
"In speaking of the measures then on foot for establishing the militia, he advises rather to trust to his majesty's goodness,' than to confirm a perpetual and exorbitant power by law.' This sentiment not only shows that the patriot was not then ill-affected towards the restored line, but proves him to have been a truly wise and liberal statesman; unlike too many champions of liberty, who, in their dread of prerogative, have unwarily strengthened the tyranny of law, a thing without bowels or conscience, and overlooks the chronic diseases of custom, which slowly but surely reduce the body politic to a condition of impotence and dotage."
He is reported to have spoken but seldom in the house, but to have possessed great personal influence over the members of the commons, and also with the peers. His exertions in favour of religious liberty, and against the excise, were particularly noted. In 1663 he retired from his parliamentary duties, and accompanied Lord Carlisle as secretary to Russia; but he appears to have accepted this appointment rather from private friendship than on public grounds. He continued there and in Sweden and Denmark, nearly two years. On the 15th of October, 1665, we find him attending the parliament at Oxford. From this period to October 1674, Marvell's correspondence gives a regular account of the proceedings of the two houses; and the prorogation of parliament, in November, 1675, terminates his parliamentary labours. We have no room here to particularize, or quote the various prose works in which he boldly advocated the public cause. He was proof against every assault on his invincible public integrity. Neither the personal compliments of the king himself who delighted in the wit of his society, nor the golden offers of Charles's treasurer, Danby, who, with difficulty found him in his "elevated retreat, in the second floor of a court in the Strand," the very day he borrowed a guinea,-could daunt his courage or stay his opposition to the government, much less tempt him to prostitute his pen in its behalf. His personal satire against the king himself, his tracts against popery and the ministry, his desperate literary battles with Parker and others, repeatedly endangered his life. But it was all to no purpose on the part of his enemies; he was a rock amidst the foaming ocean; his Roman virtue was incorruptible. He at last died suddenly on the 29th of July, 1678, while attending a public meeting in the town-hall of Hull-it is supposed by poison, as his health had been remarkably good previous to his seizure. Thus, probably, was the threat actually fulfilled,-"If thou darest to print or publish any lie or libel against Dr Parker, by the eternal God I will cut thy throat!"
"But whether fate or art untwined thy thread
As a specimen of Marvell's prose style, the following ironical observations on the invention of printing must suffice :-" The press (that villanous engine), invented much about the same time with the Reformation, hath done more mischief to the discipline of our church than the doctrine can make amends for. It was a happy time, when all learning was in manuscript, and some little officer, like our author, did keep the keys of the library. When the clergy needed no more knowledge than to read the liturgy, and the laity no more clerkship than to save them from hanging. But now, since printing came into the world, such is the mischief, that a man cannot write a book, but presently he is answered. Could the press but at once be conjured to obey only an imprimatur, our author might not disdaine, perhaps, to be one of its most zealous patrons. There have been wayes found out to banish ministers, to find not only the people, but even the grounds and fields where they assembled, in conventicles; but no art yet could prevent these seditious meetings of letters. Two or three brawney fellows in a corner, with meer ink and elbow grease, do more harm than a hundred systematical divines, with their sweaty preaching. And, what is a strange thing, the very spunges, which one would think should rather deface and blot out the whole book, and were anciently used for that purpose, are become now the instruments to make them legible. Their ugly printing letters look but like so many rotten tooth drawers; and yet these rascally operators of the press have got a trick to fasten them again in a few minutes, that they grow as firm a set, and as biting and talkative, as ever. O, printing! how hast thou disturbed the peace of mankind-that lead, when moulded into bullets, is not so mortal as when formed into letters ! There was a mistake, sure, in the story of Cadmus ; and the serpents' teeth which he sowed were nothing else but the letters which he invented. The first essay that was made towards this art, was in single characters upon iron, wherewith, of old, they stigmatized slaves and remarkable offenders; and it was of good use, sometimes to brand a schismatic; but a bulky Dutchman diverted it quite from its first institution, and contriving those innumerable syntagmes of alphabets, hath pestered the world ever since, with the gross bodies of their German divinity. One would have thought in reason, that a Dutchman might have contented himself only with the winepress."
The following fine lines are from his Horatian ode to Oliver Cromwell:
That Charles himself might chace
But with his keener eye,
The axe's edge did trye.
Nor call'd the Gods with vulgar spight,
This was that memorable houre,
A bleeding head where they begun
Sir Henry Blount.
BORN A. D. 1602.-died a. d. 1682.
SIR HENRY BLOUNT figured in a critical period of his country's history, both as a politician and a man of letters. It was his good fortune also to enjoy the confidence of the ruling parties successively. He was the third son of Sir Thomas Pope Blount of Tittenhanger, in the county of Hertford, a cadet of the very ancient house of the Blounts of Sodington in Worcestershire. He was born in December 1602. He received the rudiments of education at the school of St Alban's, whence he removed to Trinity college, Oxford, in 1616. On leaving Oxford, he went to Gray's-inn, where for some time he applied himself to the study of the law. In 1634 he went abroad, for the purpose of enlarging his acquaintance with mankind, and visiting the most celebrated cities of France, Spain, and Italy. His travels soon begot in him an ardent desire to see more of the world, and, having made acquaintance with a Turk at Venice, he resolved to visit the Turkish dominions in company with him. With this view he embarked, on the 7th of May 1634, on board a Venetian galley, in which he sailed to Spalatro, and thence continued his journey by land to Constantinople. From Constantinople he went to Egypt and visited Grand Cairo. Returning to England in 1636, he published an account of his travels, and became known to society by the appellation of the great traveller.' His book is entitled, "A Voyage into the Levant, being a brief relation of a journey lately performed from England, by the way of Venice, into Dalmatia, Selavonia, Bosnia, Hungary, Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace, Rhodes, and Egypt, unto Grand Cairo; with particular observations concerning the modern condition of the Turks, and other people under that empire." It was first published in 4to in 1636. In 1638, a third edition appeared in the same size. Wood says it was so well esteemed abroad that it had been translated into French and Dutch. But the author of the introductory discourse to Churchill's Collection of voyages,' says of Blount's works: "It is very concise,
and without any curious observations, or any notable descriptions. The account," the same writer adds, "of the religion and customs of these people, is only a brief collection of some other travellers; the language mean, and not all of it to be relied on." We suspect the latter is the juster criticism of the two. Blount travelled too hastily to furnish a very accurate account of the different countries through which he passed. He left himself no time to correct first impressions, and he gave the fruits of his observations with a precipitancy little characteristic of an accurate and pains-taking thinker. However, his work served to introduce him to the notice of Charles I. who appointed him one of his gentlemen pensioners, and, in 1638, conferred on him the honour of knighthood.
On the breaking out of the civil war, he followed the example of the elder branches of his family, who were all eminent royalists, and attended the king to York and Oxford. After the battle of Edgehill, he returned to London, and succeeded in making his peace with the dominant party, whose confidence he even gained, as we soon after find him appointed member of a committee for ascertaining and remedying the existing abuses in the administration of the law. He was also appointed commissioner from Cromwell for the trial of Don Pantalion Saa, the brother of the Portuguese ambassador, charged with murder. His colleagues on this occasion were Dr Richard Yorick, Dr William Clarke, and Dr William Turner, all eminent civilians. In 1655 his name was inserted in the list of commissioners appointed to consider the trade and navigation of the commonwealth, and how its commerce might be best encouraged and promoted. His services were of considerable value on this occasion.
On the Restoration, he was appointed high-sheriff of the county of Hertford, which office he filled until his death in 1682. He appears to have been a man of rather an acute though ill-ordered intellect, fond of novelties and paradox. Wood supposes that the Anima Mundi,' published by his son Charles Blount in 1679, was in a great measure written by the father, who was known to have occasionally indulged in metaphysical speculations somewhat akin to those of Spinosa.
Lord William Russell.
BORN A. D. 1639.-DIED A. D. 1683.
THIS distinguished leader in England's great struggle for civil and religious freedom, was the third son of William, the fifth earl of Bedford, and was born on the 29th of September, 1639. On the death of his elder brother, Francis, he became Lord Russell. He received his education at Cambridge, after which he went abroad, and resided some time at Augsburg. He spent the winter of 1658 at Paris, and returned to England in the following year. Upon the Restoration, he was elected member for Tavistock, and appears to have entered pretty freely into the gaieties of Charles's dissolute court. It was not till after his marriage, which took place in 1669, that he "applied himself with earnestness, both in meditation and action, to fulfil the duties of a Christian." His wife was the daughter of Wriothesley, earl of Southamp
ton, and widow of Lord Vaughan. She was an amiable and highly accomplished woman, and probably exercised a very material influence on the character of her second husband.
Lord William represented the county of Bedford in four successive parliaments; but, during the first twelve years that he sat in the house, he never joined in the debates. It was not till the year 1672, when the great party was formed for the purpose of preserving the liberties of the nation against a secret French alliance and a Popish successor, that Lord Russell stept forward, prepared to sustain a glorious part in the struggle which followed. Hisfactious connection'-as it has been called-on this occasion with Lord Cavendish, Sir W. Coventry, Col. Birch, Mr Porole, Mr Littleton, and some others, has been very ably vindicated by Lord John Russell, in his Life of his kinsmen." "There are persons," says the noble biographer, "who think the name of party implies blame; who, whilst they consider it natural and laudable that men should combine, for any other object of business or pleasure, and whilst they are lavish in bestowing their confidence on government, which must in its nature be a party, find something immoral and pernicious in every union of those who join together to save their country from unnecessary burdens or illegal oppression. To such persons Lord Russell's conduct must appear indefensible. But to all those who allow that party may sometimes be useful, and opposition often even necessary, I may safely appeal for the justification of his conduct. To overthrow a scheme, so formed as that of Charles and James, it was not sufficient to give honest but unconnected votes in the house of commons. It was necessary to oppose public discussion to secret intrigue, and persevering union to interested combination; it was necessary to overlook the indiscreet violence of partisans, to obtain the fruits of the zeal from which it sprung; it was necessary to sink every little difference in the great cause of the Protestant religion, and our ancient freedom; in fine, it was the duty of the lovers of their country to counteract system by system, and numbers by numbers. It may likewise be remarked, that the manner in which this party opposed the crown, was characteristic of the nation to which they belonged. In any of the continental monarchies, a design on the part of the king, to alter the religion and the laws of the kingdom, would have been met either with passive submission, insurrection, or assassination. For in those countries, men who did not dare to speak the truth to their sovereign, were not afraid to take up arms against him. But in England, the natural and constitutional method of resisting public measures, hurtful to the liberty or welfare of the people, is by a parliamentary opposition. This was the only course which Lord Russell and his friends ever thought of adopting, and they did it under circumstances extremely discouraging; for they could expect little support in a parliament chosen in the heat of the restoration, and still less assistance from a press restrained by the curb of a license act."
Lord Russell made his first speech in parliament on the 22d of January, 1674. The house had already refused the supplies, and the duke and Lord Clifford had been removed from their respective offices
London, 1820, 2 vols. 8vo.
Life of Lord W. Russell, vol. i. p. 63, 64.